Michelin’s decade of innovation and success in motorsport

In the course of the past 10 years, Michelin’s increasingly sophisticated, energy-efficient, consistent and, now, connected tyres collected more than 300 world-class victories in disciplines as varied as MotoGP, endurance racing, rallying and Formula E. 

Michelin’s first Formula 1 world titles

In 1979, Michelin demonstrated the superiority of its radial tyre technology by claiming the first of its titles in the Formula 1 World Championship. Forty years on, the French firm continues to see motorsport as a means to innovate and take its technologies forward, especially in competitions that place the accent on sustainable mobility and lasting performance. 

2014 Dakar: A fourth Dakar triumph for Coma (KTM-Michelin)

After being forced to sit out the 2013 Dakar because of a shoulder injury, Marc Coma (KTM-Michelin) bounced straight back to the top to collect his fourth victory on this year’s event. His support rider Jordi Viladoms and Olivier Pain (Yamaha Factory Racing-Michelin) joined him on the podium, while Cyril Despres (Yamaha Factory Racing-Michelin) was fourth.

It was the fifth day of this year’s Dakar that saw Coma deal a decisive knock-out blow thanks to some faultless navigation between Chilecito and Tucuman, while his rivals went astray. The stage win took him to the top of the order for the first time since the start and nobody succeeded in threatening his domination thereafter.

The Catalonian was fastest again on Legs 9 and 11, and survived to pick up his fourth Dakar victory in Valparaiso, Chile, today. “It’s an emotional moment for me and I want to savour it with all those who have helped me,” he said at the finish. “It took a lot of sacrifices and hard work to achieve this.”

As in 2013, he was joined on the podium by his support rider Jordi Viladoms who made it a one-two finish for KTM and Michelin. Olivier Pain’s excellent fortnight was rewarded with third place, his best Dakar result so far. He was also the best-placed Yamaha rider at the finish, ahead of this year’s favourite Cyril Despres.

The Frenchman suffered a variety of mechanical troubles and also took a one-hour penalty for missing a Way Point, which made it impossible for him to challenge for a sixth Dakar success after his switch to a new employer. Even so, he refused to throw in the towel and survived to salvage fourth spot, helped by three stage wins, including today’s (La Serena-Valparaiso).

Helder Rodrigues (Honda) had to settle for fifth overall, ahead of Poland’s Kuba Przygonski (KTM-Michelin). Joan Barreda (Honda-Michelin), winner of four stages this year, hit ill luck on the penultimate day. Just as second place appeared to a foregone conclusion, he fell and broke his fork 25km from the finish, falling back to seventh overall in the process.

Michelin runners won 12 of this year’s 13 stages and the French tyre maker went on to win the event for the 31st time.

Leg 13 – Positions:

1, Despres (Yamaha-Michelin). 2, Barreda (Honda-Michelin), +2m30s. 3, Pain (Yamaha-Michelin), +3m10s. 4, Rodrigues (Honda), +3m53s. 5, Pedredo (Sherco-Michelin), +4m5s. Etc.

Final overall positions:

1, Coma (KTM-Michelin). 2, Viladoms (KTM-Michelin), +1h52m27s. 3, Pain (Yamaha-Michelin), +2h0m3s. 4, Despres (Yamaha-Michelin), +2h5m38s. 5, Rodrigues (Honda), +2h11m9s. Etc.


Michelin on the virtual racing front

The coronavirus pandemic has obviously brought real motorsport to a halt, but many of Michelin’s driver partners have been keeping their eye in thanks to virtual races like Sebring SuperSaturday, e-Sport MotoGP and Porsche Supercup Virtual Edition.

24H du Mans

Le Mans 2020 put back 98 days

Initially scheduled for the weekend of June 13-14, this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours has been postponed until mid-September due to the coronavirus outbreak. The 1968 race was also held in September and saw Michelin provide new radial tyres for its partner Alpine.


Rally Mexico Win #6 for Ogier

Sébastien Ogier steered his Michelin LTX Force-equipped Toyota Yaris WRC to victory this weekend to earn his sixth success in Mexico. However, Round 3 of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship was brought to an early close due to the coronavirus outbreak.


FIA WRC - 2020 Rally Guanajuato Mexico - Racecard

The Rally Mexico is the season’s opening gravel round and a big challenge for the Michelin tyres! Get our racecard to find out more about the 3rd round of the 2020

More about Michelin Motorsport

24H du Mans

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Michelin Le Mans Cup